By Jim Thomas
Monday, Oct. 13 2008
LANDOVER, MD. Cornerback Ricky Manning Jr. became a father for the second
time over the weekend, missing practice Friday to be with his wife, Tosha. But
on Sunday, he became yet another injury casualty for the Rams.

Seeing regular duty in the nickel package in an already-depleted Rams
secondary, Manning suffered what coach Jim Haslett described as a broken bone
in his ankle late in the second quarter against Washington.

Manning, who had a sack earlier in the game, was blitzing again with 4 minutes
to play in the first half. He appeared to suffer the injury when trying to
change direction in pursuit of Washington quarterback Jason Campbell. Manning,
who watched the rest of the game on crutches on the sideline, will need
season-ending surgery.

"That left us short at corner," Haslett said. "We had to play with three
corners most of the game."

The Rams already were short at cornerback due to the release of Fakhir Brown,
plus Tye Hill's knee surgery. With Manning's injury, look for the Rams to do
everything but send out a search party for Brown. Even before Sunday's game,
officials at Rams Park said the club hoped to have Brown back under contract on

Once Manning left the game Sunday, Jonathan Wade came off the bench in nickel
situations to play cornerback, with Jason Craft sliding inside to cover slot

"Wade did a nice job," Haslett said. "Our defense played pretty well under the

The only other healthy cornerback currently on the roster is Ron Bartell.


Left tackle Orlando Pace suffered a pulled thigh muscle late in the third
quarter and was replaced by Adam Goldberg for the rest of the game. Goldberg
played the final two series, including the game-winning field goal drive.

"It's a quad strain," Pace said. "We'll see. Hopefully, it's not too bad. We'll
get some tests run on it."

The Rams also lost backup running back Brian Leonard to a shoulder injury in
the first half. Leonard missed much of the preseason with a similar shoulder
injury, and it's uncertain how much time he will miss because of the latest

With Antonio Pittman already sidelined with a broken leg, the Rams were left
with only Travis Minor backing up Steven Jackson at running back.


Jackson had a slow start against the rugged Washington run defense, with only
16 yards on seven carries in the first quarter, including a costly lost fumble.
But the Rams stuck with the run, and Jackson finished with a respectable 79
yards on 22 carries.

"That's the thing," Jackson said. "Sometimes you're not going to have those big
100-yard games. But if you can just keep the defense honest, keep their eyes in
the backfield, it allows our receivers to get downfield to make plays

Jackson did his best work on the Rams' field goal drive to open the second
half, with seven touches for 51 yards.


This coming Sunday's home game with Dallas at the Edward Jones Dome is a
sellout, according to team officials, and will be televised in St. Louis.


Entering Sunday's game the Redskins were the first team in NFL history with no
offensive turnovers in their first five games of the season. But Washington
lost three fumbles against the Rams. ... Former Rams assistant coach Judd
Garrett, who now does pro scouting for Dallas, scouted the Rams-Redskins game.